We teach that the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God; without error in the original writings. We believe that this inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the Scriptures; that they are the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of men, and are the supreme and final authority in every area of faith and life. We further believe that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, contextual, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; James 1:22-25; Psalm 119:105; John 7:17, 16:12-15; I Corinthians 2:7-15; I John 2:20, 27
We teach that there is one God eternally existing in three persons (the Trinity): the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each having precisely the same nature, divine attributes, and perfections; worthy of the same worship and obedience.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Matthew 28:19-20; John 1:1-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14
GOD THE FATHER
We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is the only absolute and omnipotent (all-powerful) ruler of the universe, Who has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass. He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own.
Psalm 145:8-9; I Corinthians 8:6; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:3-1
JESUS CHRIST - HIS PERSON
We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is fully God and fully man with indivisible oneness with God the Father. He is eternally coexisting with the Father, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He became flesh and dwelt among us as God incarnate. In his incarnation he laid aside his right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant to humankind never divesting his divine attributes, assuring in his humanity his impeccability and his immutability.
Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 4:15, 13:8; Luke 1:35; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16; Acts 1:9-11
JESUS CHRIST - HIS WORK
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophesied Messiah, performed miracles while on earth, died on the cross as the only sufficient substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all mankind; that his crucified body was buried and raised from the dead, and He appeared to many before ascending into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest, Advocate, and Mediator. We also believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ for His church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Hebrews 8:1, 9:28, 10:10-14; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; John 5:22-23; Revelation 20:11-15
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We teach that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, eternally active, began a unique work in the world on the Day of Pentecost, when He came as promised by the Son to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ, the Church universal. His activities include convicting the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment; regenerating, indwelling, sanctifying, instructing, giving spiritual gifts, and transforming believers into the image of Christ thus glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that at the moment of salvation every believer is indwelt and baptized by the Holy Spirit. As a result every believer is responsible to yield to the control of the Holy Spirit, so that he may experience the filling of the Spirit for direction and empowerment for service.
John 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:7-15; Acts 1:5, 2:4; Romans 8:9-11, 29, 12:6-8; Ephesians 1:13, 2:22, 4:7-16, 5:18; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 13; 1 John 2:20, 27; 1 Peter 4:10
We teach that man (male and female) was created in the image of God for the glory of God and for eternal fellowship with God. However, man sinned, thereby severing fellowship with God and incurring God’s enmity, wrath, and curse on all creation, resulting in physical and spiritual death. All human beings are born with a sin nature, are sinners by choice, are totally depraved. Man’s only hope is found in the grace of God through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:27, 3:1-24; Isaiah 43:7; Romans 3:23, 5:12, 19, 6:23, 7:18, 8:7-8, 19-22; Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 2:1-3, 14-16; 1 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 3:3-7, 36
We teach salvation is the work of God where sinful man is delivered from condemnation and receives eternal life. It is accomplished by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and cannot be earned or maintained by human effort; it results in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ when a person repents of his sin and believes in the sinless life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for his sin. Those entering into this relationship by faith are eternally born-again, justified, and have become children of God.
Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:8-10, 4:30; Romans 3:21-28, 5:1, 6:23, 8:16, 10:8-13, 14:9; John 1:12-13, 3:5-6, 16, 10:27-28, 17:3, 20:30-31; Acts 2:36, 4:10-12; James 1:19-27, 2:14-26
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE (SANCTIFICATION)
We teach that Christian sanctification is the continuing work of God where the individual believer perseveres in his salvation by consciously and constantly pursuing Christlikeness under the power of the Holy Spirit. This occurs through the transformation of the inner man by the renewing of the mind with the Word of God, the replacing of habits of the old man with the disciplines of the new man, and by abiding in the love of God. The result is God being glorified through a holy life and the expansion of the visible local church. This process does not lead to perfection while in mortality but will conclude at the believer’s glorification into eternity.
Romans 12:1,2; John 15; 1 John 1:1-9; Galatians 5:16-26; Colossians 3:1-4, 12-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-4; Philippians 3:13-16; Ephesians 5:1-20
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
We teach that marriage was ordained by God at creation as the sacred union of one man and one woman. All sexual relations must therefore be reserved for that union. Christian marriage is a representation of Christ's relationship to His church. We also believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. Thus, all human life is sacred and worthy of protection from the moment of conception.
Genesis 1:26-28, 2:24; Psalm 127 and 128; 139:13-16; Matthew 19:1-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4
We teach that the Church is a unique spiritual organism made up of all born-again believers which began on the Day of Pentecost. The Church is the body and the bride of Christ, of which Christ is the head. The purpose of the Church is to make disciples, who will bring glory to God. We believe every Christian is called to be vitally connected and committed to the local church, so that they can minister according to his or her spiritual giftedness and practice the “one anothers” as commanded in the New Testament for the building up of the body in love while maintaining the unity of the Spirit. We believe in the autonomy of the visible local church with the right to self-government by a plurality of biblically qualified Elders, under Christ and over the congregation, as servant leaders.
Matthew 28:18-20; John 13:34-35; Acts 1:8, 2:1-21, 2:38-47, 14:23, 20:17, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 10:32, 11:23-25, 12:12-13, 15:58; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22, 3:1-6, 21, 4:7-16, 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 10:25, 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-5; 1 John 1:3
We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. Whereby, the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, as they consciously await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. In addition, the souls of the unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and then shall be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:9; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:1-15, 21:1-8; Luke 16:19-28; Matthew 25:41-46; John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Jude 6,7
We teach that there are only two ordinances to be observed by the Church: Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that water baptism is an outward testimony of God’s work in the believer, and it portrays the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, which is demonstrated best through immersion. It serves as an initial step of identification and fellowship into the visible local church. We believe that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper to commemorate and proclaim His death until His return. Neither ordinance is a means of earning or maintaining salvation.
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-4; Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 11:17-30; Mark 15:16; Ephesians 2:8-9
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
• Jesus clearly taught...“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit… (Matthew 28:19)
• The people who heard Peter’s Pentecost sermon asked: “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) He answered: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized…” (verse 38) Their response: “So then, those who had received his word were baptized.” (verse 41)
• “But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.” (Acts 8:12) In the records of baptism, it is indicated that the person first “repented” of sin and “believed” in Christ and then was baptized. Those who have made a personal decision to believe in Christ should be baptized.
WHY BE BAPTIZED?
• To follow Christ’s example. A Christian is a “follower of Christ.” “Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan...” (Mark 1:9)
• Christ commanded it. He instructed His disciples to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit...” (Matthew 28:19)
• It is the pattern followed by New Testament believers. “...many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.” (Acts 18:8)
• To identify with the Church. “Those who were baptized…were added to the church.” (Acts 2)
• Baptism is also a symbol of one’s union by faith with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death in order that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3.4)
• Baptism is a public confession of our new life in Christ and a sign of our obedience to His Word. All in all, baptism shows our loyalty and obedience to Christ, His Word and the Church. “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (I John 2:3)
WHEN ARE WE TO BE BAPTIZED?
The most detailed example of baptism is found in Acts 8 where Philip told the eunuch about Christ:
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news about Jesus to him. And as they were going along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. (Acts 8:35-38)
There is no reason for delay. For a new believer, this is the first major act of obedience unto the lordship of Christ. The key is that after a person declares his belief in Christ, he should be baptized. Because “belief” is the prerequisite for baptism, we do not recognize infant baptism.
HOW ARE WE TO BE BAPTIZED?
From the beginning of the Church, immersion was the recognized method for baptizing believers.
• “And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water” (Matthew 3:16)
• “. . . They both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water… (Acts 8:38,39) The Greek word “baptizo” means “to dip,” “to immerse,” or “to wash.”
Water baptism is an external symbol of the internal washing and renewal that takes place when one believes in Christ. Over the years, traditions, church distinctives, and simply disobedience have deemphasized the importance of immersion.